This course investigates the new Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”) regime that became effective on 1 January 2011. The Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) No 2 Act 2010 (Cth) introduced a comprehensive national consumer protection and product liability law regime. The variety of consumer protection statutes throughout Australia such as the Fair Trading Acts and Door to Door Sales Acts were entirely replaced by the ACL.
In particular, the former Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) was replaced by the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (“the CCA”) that contains the ACL. Accordingly, the CCA, the ACL and the various State and Territory application legislation are now the principal sources of consumer protection and product liability law throughout Australia.
The object of this elective is to introduce the Australian Consumer Law as it is applied as a law of the Commonwealth and as a law of the States and Territories. This will involve a consideration of the role and function of consumer protection and product liability laws as part of Australia's National Competition Policy, misleading and deceptive conduct and its most common forms including silence, comparative advertising, passing off, sale of businesses, breach of contract and franchising industry issues, various forms of false conduct, "special" areas of consumer concern such as pyramid selling and false claims for payments, conditions and warranties implied into consumer contracts by the ACL including the status of 'No Refund' policies, unconscionable conduct, Industry Codes of Conduct with an examination of the franchising industry, product liability, remedies under the CCA including damages, injunctions and other orders and enforcement of the Consumer Protection and Product Liability provisions of the CCA by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Critically analyse and apply to a range of scenarios Australian Consumer Law ("ACL") as an integral component of National Competition Policy, including the ACL's specific consumer protection provision, and provide solutions to a range of problems addressing consumer protection and product liability law
- Evaluate product safety and defective product provisions in the ACL and critically analyse case law and scholarly writing in this area;
- Critically analyse and apply complex statutory provisions within the ACL specifically and as part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) ("CCA"), including analysing and applying relevant case law;
- synthesise and communicate to range of audiences a clear and coherent body of knowledge of consumer protection and product liability law
- Undertake a research project involving consumer protection and product liability law
- Exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Research essay (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week.
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